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life well planned. see what a raymond james advisor can do for you. hello, everyone. just about high noon here in the east. 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." here are the top five stories trebding this hour a. new flooding let. revelations on the book on bin laden's killing. clint eastwood's number one fan reveals had himself. and a rocky-like moment for one superstar. we have details on all those stories in the next hour. but first -- just days before the democratic convention and both sides are ratcheting up the rhetoric in the campaign for the white house. in a moment a new ad from the romney camp to share. but first, the president's road to charlotte tour is in boulder, colorado, this hour. the president is trying to build battleground state momentum as he approaches this week's mom t
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momentum but some of his chief advisers took on mitt romney and the gop convention ahead of their gathering. >> it was a week of perm attacks, empty platitudes, and where the one thing were you left with is they really think lying is a virtue, and i think the american people disagree with that. this week will be very different. >> are you saying they're just a bunch of liars? >> no. no, bob, i didn't say that. >> you said lying was a virtue. >> i heard a lot of things that weren't true last week. i think we can all agree with that. >> kristen welker is traveling with the president. a good afternoon, just barely, to you. how is the president's message playing out on the road with the public as we ramp up to the dnc? >> reporter: good afternoon to you, alex. i think that it's really been mixed to some extend. on the one hand president obama is drawing really large, enthusiastic crowds. yesterday in sioux city, iowa, about 10,000 people turned out to hear him speak. they were fired up. they responded with loud
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applause. when he tried to paint republicans as the party of the past for saying that the republican national convention was basically like watching tv in black and white. on the other hand, alex, he was greeted at the sioux city airport with a huge sign that read, mr. president, we did build this. of course that's a reference to president obama's you didn't build that comment that the romney campaign has seized onto to try to paint the president s a as big government, antibusiness. what it really represents is the electorate is deeply divided in some of these key battleground states that president obama, mitt romney are stumping in in the days leading up to the democratic national convention. and if you talk to political analysts they say what romney did so effectively in his convention speech was to tap into some that have disappointment and to highlight it. so if you talk to surrogates of president obama, his advisers will tell you what he needs to
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do this week in his speeches to really count they're message. here is a little bit more of what rahm emanuel had to say on "meet the press." >> lay out an agenda and a clear vision of the next four years in which you have an economy built on the middle class. the middle class cannot afford like the last decade where they see their economic security and their economic position decline further. they have to participate in the economic growth. they have to be able to own a home, send their kids to college, save for their retirement, and not be one sickness away from bankruptcy. >> reporter: and of course rahm emanuel, the mayor of chicago, is one of president obama's former top advisers. he is now a surrogate, one of his most outspoken surrogates. advisers tell me that president obama is still working on his convention speech. it's still a work in progress, alex, and they tell me that in between all of these stops he is working with his writing team to put it together and tray to get that message out.
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alex? >> you can bet they have listened and heard the words of mayor emanuel. thank you so much, kristen. we'll look forward to seeing you again next hour. now to the romney camp releasing a new web video today. the two and a half minute spot is called a better future and features several high-profile speakers from the republican national convention. >> that future is out there. it is waiting for us. our children deserve it. our nation depends on it. the freedom and peace of the country rely on it and we will dli it. let us begin that future tonight. thank you so very much. may god bless you. may god bless the american people. and may god bless the united states of america. the obama campaign senior adviser says don't expect the same level of voter enthusiasm for president obama this year like it was in 2008. >> this election was always going to be close because we live in a closely divided country. i remind people all the time that just four years ago everyone was talking about the
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president's landslide and he got 53% of the vote. so let's understand that we live in a very closely divided electorate. we have for quite some time, and this election was, quite frankly, always going to be close. >> meanwhile, mitt romney's reportedly spending the next few days preparing for the upcoming presidential debates which begin next month. as the party gets ready for its national convention in charlotte, north carolina, preparations are well under way at the time warner cable arena in charlotte. hello to you, chris. >> reporter: alex, good afternoon. the opening of the democratic national convention is still two days away but there's still plenty planned today. here in charlotte and the campaign trail as well. president obama heads to colorado after two saturday stopovers in iowa where he took another swipe at mitt romney's convention speech. >> it was a rerun. we've seen it before.
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you might as well have watched it on a black and white tv. he did not offer a single new idea. just retreads of the same old policies that have been sticking it to the middle class for years. >> reporter: in cincinnati romney shot back blaming the president for america's continued high unemployment. >> today 23 million people are out of work or stopped looking for work or are under employed. if you have a coach that's 0 and 23 million, you say it's time to get a new coach. >> reporter: romney will spend today and labor day at his vacation home in new hampshire preparing for the presidential debates next month. in charlotte they're preparing for the opening of the democratic national convention tuesday, delegates have begun arriving, struck by the southern hospitali hospitality. >> it's a great, great way to be greeted. >> reporter: but police are wondering how protesters will treat the city later today.
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thousands of them are expected for a march into downtown. >> it's time we have a society that puts human need before corporate greed. >> reporter: charlotte will have over 2,000 police officers from around the kcountry for securit today and the rest of the week. president obama isn't expected in charlotte until wednesday for his acceptance speech thursday at the 70,000-seat bank of america stadium. in charlotte, i'm chris clackum, alex, back to you. as we get closer to the dnc convention, the best place to join twitter and use #msnbc 2012. residents and officials in st. tammany parish are under high alert a. failing canal is forcing thousands from their homes, concerns a break could unleash a 20-foot wall of water
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into that community. gabe gutierrez is live for us. we understand there's been a change regarding the evacuations. can you give us an update? >> reporter: st. tammany parish official have is switched the order from mandatory to voluntary. they say they have stabilized the area between the two locks on the pearl river divergent canal, that there had been some fears yesterday that this lock could fail. it is sound for now. they've managed to relieve some of the pressure on that lock. again, that evacuation order has been switched from mandatory to voluntary, alex. >> that's good. that's one thing to check off. how about another situation we're hearing about that officials are worried about. what's that? >> reporter: that's right. it's one thing on top of another. st. tammany parish officials are looking into -- there's no evaluation order on this
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incident yet but they're looking into whether the pearl river might crest early monday morning at 19 1/2 feet so the parish president is meeting with hi hydrologists. sandbag location has also just been open as officials try to 0 figure this one out. alex? >> lots to consider there. thank you, gabe gutierrez from new orleans. despite threats from the pentagon, new details are out today from no easy day, the inside account of the book on the killing of bin laden. the excerpt tells of the terrifying moments when one of the s.e.a.l.s blackhawk helicopter crash landed into bin laden's compound nearly crushing the author and his comrades. joining me now colonel jack jacobs, medal of honor recipient and msnbc military analyst. glad to have you here, colonel.
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this is topic "a" for so many people, i must say. when you read this excerpt, what did you learn? >> well, there's nothing classified in it that i could tell. as a matter of fact all it does is set the stage in an exciting way for what you know is going to follow. so as a prologue, an introduction to the rest of the book, it's pretty good reading. it's not very long but it's pretty good reading. i have seen some things from the rest of the book and that doesn't have anything classified in it either. there's plenty of sensitive material there but being -- >> and there's a difference between sensitive and classified. >> you're not allowed to release classified information. this is something new. the first time i think that somebody in a similar situation, this kind of situation, did not submit the manuscript for the authorities to leak stuff in advance. >> and you're a military man. what do you think of this? >> i think it's perfectly okay.
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i don't think anybody is at risk. what it does do, however, is that it sets a precedent for the future. so i think the pentagon and the cia are both going to have their hands full. >> and that's why they're clamoring so aggressively? >> no doubt about it. once this is out, i think everybody else can do the same thing as long as they're not releasing classified information, they're going to be able to get away with releasing what would otherwise be perceived to be sensitive. >> let's take a listen to the author on " 0 minutes." >> he's crazy, he's on either side of the aisle. you want to make it political, shame on them. this is a book with about september 11th and it needs to rest on september 11th not be brought into the political arena because this has nothing to do with politics. >> what do you think of that statement? >> well, in a story like this there's plenty of politics to go around both sides of the aisle. it's coming at a very interesting time in the election cycle, just months before the election when that has been perceived to be a close race so
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there is a political component to be sure especially since the president of the united states is -- has, in the past, and will going forward talk about his success in getting rid of bin laden. so of course there's a political compliment to it. >> there's another story out from afghanistan today in the wake of all of these so-called green on blue attacks. we have the u.s. military suspending the training portion of their role there with the police officers, correct? clarify what's going on right now. >> we've been training. we've trained bureaucrats. we trained police officers. we trained the afghan earl. we've had the most success with the afghan army. not much success at all with the police. had in certain areas we have. we haven't had much success in training the police. quite frankly if we're going to stop, slow down, or actually put a halt for some time to the training of police, you have to ask yourself the question, what are we doing there?
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at the end of the day the reason that we're in afghanistan is to train afghans. we're not going to train afghans, then a lot of people are going to ask the question why don't we come home right away? >> okay, colonel jack jacobs, thank you so much. >> good to be with you. the new report on what most americans think about the rich and this week's office politics. which white house insider wants to win this election even more than the president. what do we do when something that's hard to paint, really wants to be painted? we break out new behr ultra with stain-blocker from the home depot... ...the best selling paint and primer in one that now eliminates stains. so it paints over stained surfaces, scuffed surfaces, just about any surface. what do you say we go where no paint has gone before, and end up some place beautiful. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. get $5 off one gallon cans of our best paint, including behr ultra, now through september 5th.
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the new daily tracking poll shows the race for president continues to be neck and neck. president obama has a slight lead over mitt romney, 47% to 46%. joining me now deputy national
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political editor for "the washington post" anne kornblut and for "newsweek" and the daily beast eleanor clift, two of my favorite ladies. >> thank you. >> anne, i'll begin with you, the republican convention tv audience was down about 30% compared to the last go-round in '08. do you think this is a statement about the electorate or the candidates and do we anticipate a similar dip for the democrats? >> well, i think it's probably a little bit of both. certainly four years ago it was a very dramatic election, both the primaries and the general election. you have to remember that john mccain had just picked sarah palin in the moments really before the republican convention, so there was a lot more excitement around that. i don't think there's anything mitt romney could have done to replicate that and i do think the electorate is probably a little warier. we continue to see that, not only polarized but feeling down about politicians in general whether it's going to be the same for the democrats or not is hard to say.
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it's an incumbent president. is not the same kind of drama as four years ago going into that convention, questions about what hillary clinton supporters were going to do, would they disrupt, would they rally behind president obama. this time i think we safely know who the nominee is going to be. and we're not going to get a whole lot of coverage except for the last night and there's going to be some football they're competing with. it's an uphill battle for viewers on 0 both side. >> unless you're an msnbc addict and we're there 24/7. how much of a disadvantage does this ratings dip suggest for the gop because this was the last week in august, right through the labor day holiday, so how much of an advantage is it for the dems to have this post-labor day convention when everyone is back on schedule? >> well, anne is right. four years ago was a crusade for barack obama. the country felt like we were making history. and this is really another re-elect campaign. i hate to say just another re-elect campaign because there are very important issues at stake and i do think the road
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map that each party is laying out, that they're dramatically different. the democrats have an advantage because coming in right after labor day is when the country kind of knuckles down and gets back to work and they can trump whatever advantage the republicans may have gained coming out of tampa. and i think the days of those average seven-point bounce coming out of convention, they're probably over. but whatever the republicans may have gained i think the democrats are in a position to quickly overcome that. so democrats' advantage. not a lot but in a tight election, everything helps. >> sure. anne, take a listen to how the president described the republican convention while campaigning this weekend. here it is. >> despite all the challenges that we face in this new century, what they offered over those three days was more 0 often than not an agenda that was better suited for the last
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century. it was a rerun. we'd seen it before. you might as well have watched it on a black and white tv. >> it's kind of interesting, in part, he may have been referring to the foreign policy it touches that were made because they were inparticuldyicative of the trum. do you think the president can score points with independent voters by knocking the g 0 op's nostalgia approach? >> i think it's a double-edged sword. i think there's certainly evidence that voters blame still the bush era for the economic woes that they feel and so to harken back to an earlier time to say, look, we tried it, it didn't work, there's a case to be made that that's a very effective -- i don't know if you want to paint the whole century in a broad brush and say we don't want to return to anything in the 20th century but certainly the bush years. those are not years they look on finely. i have to say, though, that there are people who are
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nostalgic for a previous era, who took a gamble with president obama and feel like there's been too much change. so for those people, a retroconvention, and that may be what they were looking for. the president is obviously appealing to younger people when he's talking this way. he's trying to focus on being forward looking and the future and their belief is that's what people want. like i said, i think it is something after double-edged sword. >> eleanor, with regard to the president's upcoming speech on thursday, look, there's still a lackluster economy out there. unemployment is a drag. how does the president frame his economic message around that and can he sell his vision for the future? >> well, elections are about the future and not the past, and i think the republicans did spend a lot of time sort of weaving these wonderful recollections of the past and neve a platform that advocates a study on returning to the gold standard. they want to drill on public lands which would overturn teddy
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roosevelt's policies of 100 years and i think on the issue of reproductive rights, a lot of people thought were settled, they reopened that. so what does president obama do that mitt romney didn't? and then i think it is to really sketch out a clearer picture of what he would do in a second term. i don't think he's done that. i don't think mitt romney has offered a clear vision for what he would do. and so i think there's a real opening here for the president to capture the imagination of the voters once again. i don't know what it is that he can propose or how he can package his economic plan but that's what people are looking for. they want to be excite body this election and about his candidacy. >> okay. eleanor clift and anne kornblut, good to see you both, ladies. now to number four on our list of the first five web stories president obama says he is still a clint eastwood fan even after the skit criticizing the white house. he told "usa today," in fact, clint eastwood is a great actor and an even better director. he also said, quote, one thing
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about being president or running for president, if you're easily offended, you should probably choose another profession. 0 a little humor there. [ dad ] i'm usually checking up on my kids.
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including calcium and vitamin d to help keep bones strong and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a delicious taste. your favorite patient is here! [ dad ] i choose great taste. i choose boost. in today's then and now the discovery after lifetime at the bottom of the atlantic. on this day back in 1985 came the announcement many explorers had been waiting for decades to hear. here is roger mud on the nbc "nightly news." >> "the titanic" took millions of dollars in diamonds. treasure hunters have looked pour her. the french found her about 560 miles off the coast of newfoundland about 13,000 feet down. the discovery was made by a joint u.s. french expedition using sonar and under water cameras. >> video showed the ship lying
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in two pieces with the stern severely damaged. there was mo sign of a long gash previously thought to have been ripped into the hull by an iceberg. two years ago the team of under water archaeologists mapped the debris field where it sank in 1912 to reveal at least three areas of "titanic" debris no one knew existed. they hope to discover new clues about how the ship broke apart. now right to today's look at number ones. allstate's annual driving study defines the nation ace capital as the most dangerous place to drive. the safest? sioux falls south dakota. ocean city, maryland, topped the most fun and affordable city. why ocean city? the boardwalk. manhattan a great place to visit but a new economic study says it's the nation's most expensive place to live. brooklyn ranks second. honolulu, san francisco and san jose round out the top five. the power of a possessed young girl, the horror film expected
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to win the box office took in about $19 million. an indiana boy's fast hands are winning him much acclaim. this 7-year-old set records for cup stacking. >> my heart was like, boom, boom, boom. and, like, it was like pounding down all the way to where my cups were. i had to get those nerves out really quick. >> oh, my gosh, he's adorable. incredibly he only started cup stacking a couple of months ago and you now, look at that, he's like an old hand at it. those are your number ones. ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing new dentyne split to fit pack. it splits in to two smaller, sleeker packs that fit almost anywhere so you can take them everywhere. dentyne split to fit. practice safe breath.
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his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. and welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." as half hour, democrats striking a theme. we may expect to hear more of starting tuesday at their convention. in fact president obama rolled
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it out at a campaign event yesterday. >> governor romney had had nothing to say about afghanistan last week. let alone offer a plan for the 33,000 troops who will come home from the war by the end of this month. >> and joining me now is chip saltzman, republican strategist and former campaign manager of mike huckabee's campaign as well as the democratic strategist and former spokesman for hillary clinton's 2008 campaign. hello, guys. good to have you both. >> good to be with you, alex. >> hi. >> chip, i'm going to begin with you here. how does the republican presidential nominee not mention america's longest war? >> yeah, i wish he would have. and when i was kind of listening to the speech i kept expecting that to come up. they made a calculation that the speech was twofold, one, to introduce mitt romney as a person and also to talk about the number one, two, and three issue which is the economy, jobs, and what his plan was to
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get the economy going. i would have liked to have seen him talk more about the troops especially a shout out to the troops overseas serving. my brother was in the first iraq war and certainly that's something i was thinking about and i know a lot of other people were as well. >> so does that suggest they don't really want to talk about afghanistan? do you think you are seeing that from the democrats, because troops are coming home, jeff? >> i don't think it's a concession at all. we have a limited amount of time. the number one issue is jobs and the economy. that's what mitt romney has made this campaign about which i think is exactly the right thing to do and that's what they stay focused on. if you saw the theme it was about jobs, about the economy, and about president obama's record or lack thereof on job improvements. okay, how does the president thread the needle of talking about afghanistan without appearing to be driving the focus away from the bad economy? >> i think two things. first, i think most people understand that the job is multifaceted. it's not like mitt romney didn't
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bring up foreign issues, he brought up cuba, russia, a lot of places without talking about afghanistan. the second thing is dealing with this it is not only a national security issue but an economic issue. it is taking the money we've been spending in afghanistan, redirecting it to the united states, and helping those veterans that are coming home reacclimate and get back into the private sector here. so after hearing the president talk about both those things. >> okay, chip, let's take a listen to mitt romney's speech. here it is. >> president obama has relaxed sanctions on castro's cuba. he abandoned our friends in poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments. but he's eager to give russia's president putin the flexibility he desires after the election. under my administration 0 our
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friends will see more loyalty and mr. putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone. >> so, chip, cuba, poland, putin, does this give us a clear sense of mitt romney's focus on foreign policy and why single out putin, the only foreign leader mentioned by name? >> well, i think for a couple of things. that comment by president obama where he said just wait until the election, i'll be able to give you more flexibility and what governor romney is saying and foreign policy needs to be tough, stand unapologetically with our allies and let our enemies know that especially israel which is very important to me. we need to make sure the iranians know we're going to stand with israel and not let iraq make a nuclear weapon. >> how about this, mo, on friday we learned that the u.s. is scaling back its involvement in the upcoming joint military exercises with israel. do you think the president is exposing his flank? >> no, i don't think so.
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look, i think this president has been a tremendous friend to israel as has pretty much every president since the creation of israel. and recently you've heard people from peres to barack talk about this president's unprecedented commitment to israel. mitt romney is the only person that seems to not recognize that and it's unfortunate because he is politicizing what is a bipartisan and strong relationship. >> okay. i want to switch gears with you, chip, because the president is going back to school again, today, with an event at the university of colorado. do you think mitt romney's business like style competes tore the youth vote? >> i think it does this time. four years ago there was a lot of excitement with the younger people but this hope and change campaign. now they have graduated from college and can't find a job and moving back in with mom and dad and think a business guy with actual experience in creating jobs and fixing things would be a better fit than a guy who gives a good speech.
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>> what's your response to that, mo? >> i think when people recognize mitt romney is making it more difficult for people to go to college by going after pell grants and the president's college tuition tax credit and then going back to the policies that got us into the economic mess in the first place, that is not hope and change. that's nothing that will help move the ball forward. so i think the president is doing the right thing going out there and talking about those differences with young people. >> okay, mo elleithee and chip saltsman. journal and msnbc analyst richard wolffe previews the dnc and shares the challenges of writing two books about president obama. i begin by asking him if the it democrats feel lucky to hold a slight lead in the polls despite the poor economy. >> i think that's where the complacency is, right, that barack obama has always overcome the odds in the past so surely he will do it again. he's a flawed candidate and --
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they all are -- but the idea that he just coasts to victory, i actually think he sometimes believes that, too, and there's a complacency that he has but, you know, the question is he likes to think of himself and his friends do as a fourth quarter player, right? he is going to get the ball at the end of the game and even it up and take the lead. well, yeah, that has happened before but there's no guarantee when you get the ball at the buzzer you can actually sink it. >> what does he need to do next week in charlotte? >> ultimately you're going to hear a much harsher convention in terms of what they say about the other side. i think democrats are going to be landing lots of punches next week. you'll hear a lot about bain and how mitt romney has flip-flopped but they're also got to do a much better job of lay iing out the positive approach. what can we expect? the obama slogan is forward. forward to what? what can people reasonably expect in the next four years from president obama because
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it's not compelling to say it's going to be four more of the same. >> how about obama the campaigner whom you covered from the outset the last go around. do you expect anything different or have they figured that worked? >> people do like him and republ republicans have found it very, very difficult to overcome that. i 0 don't think it's possible. at this point he's a known quantity. so a bit like president bush. love him or hate him you got a good sense of who he was in 2004. it will be hard for republicans to overcome that. there was one thing you need to know about obama, though, he's a super competitive person and even more competitive than bush. i think in my experience i know a lot of xcompetitive people. one person in the entire circle more competitive than him and that's michelle obama. this is someone who wants to win and gets very fired up. >> she doesn't come off that way. >> believe me, she wants to win even more badly than he does. >> you've written two books on president obama. you did "renegade" all about the
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campaign and then you did did "revival" the first two years of the presidency. how did you come to do those books? >> well, what's that woody allen line about09% of life is just showing up? i showed up. i showed up from springfield, illinois, all the way through to the end of the obama campaign on election night four years ago and, you know, you build up relationships and experiences and a perspective and so there were surprisingly few people who followed the whole journey. you couldn't understand the campaign unless were you in iowa in 2007 and i was and so that it self led to the first book and i thought the first book, the campaign was one thing but governing had proved so difficult and such a challenge. a fundamental challenge not just because of the crisis but to who
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these people were. who was he? and what was he trying to do? was he an insider? was he an outsider? was he barack hussein obama or barack obama, the 44th president of the united states? i don't think that has been resolved. i think that's still playing out. there's an enigma about the man and we're still trying to it answer it. >> what about your obvious inside access? how easy that was to come by? >> never easy. >> not. >> never easy. a lot of people this think that you do certain deals or someone hands it to you on a plate. the candidate obama first suggested to me about a book, and i thought, naively, i told him it was a stupid idea and i wouldn't do it. >> hang on, you told him it was a stupid idea? >> i actually did say that. i had to get back to him a few
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weeks later and say -- >> i am sorry. >> i've talked to a few people about it and maybe it's not so stupid. he was quite happy to tell me that i actually was the stupid one. but i assumed -- this is where it was stupid -- i assumed the candidate suggests this thing and now i think it's a good idea so you've got cooperation, right? far from it. there were endless roadblocks. people think if it you get the big interview. >> office politics with richard wolffe, thank you very much. so are the rich really different than other people? that's ahead. copd makes it hard to breathe, but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene.
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and every day since, two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected,
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and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across the industry so we can all produce energy more safely. i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes just as seriously: our commitment to america. bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs in communities across the country. we hired three thousand people just last year. bp invests more in america than in any other country. in fact, over the last five years, no other energy company has invested more in the us than bp. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. today, our commitment to the gulf, and to america, has never been stronger.
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just two days to go until the start of the democratic national convention and the stage is nearly set at a rally yesterday president obama offered a preview of what we can expect to hear when he takes to the podium. >> now this thursday night i will offer you what i believe is a better path forward, a path that grows this economy, creates more good jobs, strengthens the middle class. and the good news is you get to choose which path we take. >> joining me now is senator robert menendez, honorary chair to the dnc. senator, it's wonderful to have you here. >> great to be with you, alex. >> we heard the president say he's going to offer an economic path forward on thursday. how do you think he can best frame how to do that given where we are in had this economy? >> well, i think it's a combination of reminding the
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american people what the president and we inherited in january of 2009, a country on the verge not of the great recession but a near depression, a country at two wars raging abroad in iraq and afghanistan, a free market that instead of being a free market was a free-for-all market where large financial institutions made risky bets that became the collective responsibility of everybody in america to a country today that ultimately is moving in the right direction. a lot more work to do but that paints a vision as to how we finish that job. how do we ensure the economic opportunity becomes a reality for each and every american and build that opportunity from the middle class out. >> you talk about the reality of what this president inherited, how patient is the american public? how many people want to look back at four years instead of what elections are all about which is looking forward? >> i hi it's a snapshot that you take to remind people what was
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the starting point. where is our compass. then you talk about the successes we've had, bringing our sons and daughters back home from iraq, passing historic health care so no one is one illness away from bankruptcy, equal pay for equal work for women, moving from an economic that was in negative territory to positive territory, that was losing millions of jobs to creating 4.5 million jobs and then you paint the vision of how you're going to continue to move forward in the days ahead and i think we've got a great lineup between, you know, the first lady, you know, president clinton, who is great at communicating in that respect and then the president and the vice president and themselves. >> let's take a look back at what happened this week, part of mitt romney's speech at the rnc. here it is. >> you know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.
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[ applause ] >> of all the lines from that speech, that is the one that friends and the general population have come up to me and said, we remember that one. is there a point over the last four years that you can recall people being as excited as they were from grant park in chicago that night? >> i think there was excitement when the president appointed two women to the united states supreme court. i think there was excitement when we passed historic health care in the face of what no president and no congress has been able to do in the past. and i think the president is still doing so is well in terms of people's commitment to him. that's why despite the incredible adversity he's faced, he's still doing so well in so many polls throughout the k country. >> let's talk about who will be delivering the keynote address and a surprise to many even some veteran democrats. we're talking about the mayor of san antonio, the seventh largest city in the country, and this is
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a man, julian castro, who is a rising star. what do you expect from him? >> i think julian castro will do a tremendous job, the first hispanic to give a keynote speech at a democratic convention. a young leader so he will appeal to a variety of groups here and i think he's going to lay out the case as he has in san antonio. for how you build an economy that lasts. how do you help middle class families meet their challenge and help them realize their hopes and dreams and aspirations. i'm looking forward to his speech. >> very quickly a lot of people are saying let's go back to 2004, there was this guy, barack obama, who came out and it was a platform. do you think there's the possibility this man has a brilliant future? >> i know julian very well. he has a great future. i don't want to put him up to the challenge of barack obama's speech. >> thank you so much. safe travels down to charlotte. >> all right. >> thank you. we invite all of you to watch msnbc for live coverage of the democratic national convention which starts tomorrow with chuck todd. he'll be hosting a special
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two-hour edition of "daily r rundown" live from charlotte. then on tuesday our 20 hours of daily coverage kicks off with "way too early" and "morning joe." andrea mitchell and chuck todd will be live with continuing coverage. right here on msnbc, the place for politics. now number five on our list of the top five stories, jay-z's rocky-like moment. he mimicked the film at the top of the museum of art. 50,000 fans were there to see that happen. the show also featured a prerecorded video with president barack obama. [ male announcer ] this is anna, her long day teaching the perfect swing
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a study on what americans re really think about rich people. a personal finance expert is
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making people rich with her company. >> we're doing it. >> as we get to the survey, it's from the pugh research center, it says people see those who are wealthy as being more intelligence, more hard working, yet also greedy and less honest. >> exactly. >> those are the biggest take system aways. where does this come from? >> if you break it along party lines you can see that the environment is very different when it comes to the wealthy. democrats are much more like ly to say that people who are rich are basically more greedy and less honest. republicans are more likely to say they're intelligent and hard working. it's cut across party lines. a third to 50% of americans say it doesn't matter if you're wealthy. it doesn't make you more intelligence. a big number said doesn't matter. >> let's get to taxes. this shows when it comes to paying them 58% said the rich pay too little. 26% say, no, they pay their fair
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share. just 8% say they pay too much. >> you are upper class, you are much more likely to say we pay our fair share of taxes. if you are lower class you say the rich don't pay their share as well, again, split along party lines. democrats, 78% say the wealthy do in the pay enough in taxes and only 33% of republicans said the same thing. we know perception is reality. >> and on the campaign trail wealth is one of the big issues. what's the takeaway between what the study tells us and you think had this tells us how people view rich people overall rather than someone specific like necessarily mitt romney and, by the way, the president is also wealthy. >> there is that. more recently wealthy, let's put it that way. here is what it really shows. the income gap. the belief there is a huge income gap between the wealthy and the poor are is big. 65% of americans are saying that gap exists. and here is the thing, they had a statement, do you believe that
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the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? over 75% of americans agree with that statement. now if you're a democrat, 92%. republican still over 50%. so what everyone is saying no matter what party they're in, the majority of people are saying this is changing, america is changing, and the rich are getting richer. >> pretty sobering for those of us who aren't rich. >> exactly. we'll work together on that. >> thank you so much. after isaac, the failing river lock that threatens louisiana homes. we'll take you there for an update. are you okay, babe? i'm fine. ♪ ♪ ♪ with a subaru you can always find a way. announcer: love.
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it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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stop in pennsylvania. >> to quote president clinton, these guys are bush on steroids because here is what they want to do. on top of maintaining that tax cut -- this is true -- they want to add another $250,000 a year tax cut for everyone making over $1 million. meanwhile mitt romney and paul ryan hit the battleground state of florida looking to rally voters in jacksonville. >> i need to ask each one of you to find one person who voted for barack obama last time and they're out there. i know you can usually tell where they are because on their cars you see the glue from where the bumper sticker used to be. and so you can find them. you need to go those guys and find one person who voted for barack obama and convince them to vote for paul ryan and mitt romney. >> and new today the romney camp has release add web video called
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a better future. the ad includes highlights from last week's republican national convention featuring several high-profile speakers. and as the president aims to build up momentum ahead of the democratic national convention in charlotte, his team is amping up the rhetoric on the campaign trail. today one of his chief advisers took mitt romney and the republicans to task. >> it was a week of personal attacks, empty platitudes and the one thing that you were left with is they think lying is a virtue, and i think the american people disagree with that. this week will be different. >> are you saying they're just a bunch of liars? >> no, are bob, i didn't say that. >> you said lying is a virtue. >> i heard a lot of things that weren't true last week. i think we can all agree with that. >> kristen well can kerr is traveling with the president. what's the focus for the president's message today and in the next couple of days ahead of the dnc and where does he go from here? >> reporter: well, good afternoon to you, alex. i think the president's focus right now is shoring up support in some of these key
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battleground states ahead of the democratic national convention. colorado a very important state. he won the state back in 2008, became the first democrat to do so in 15 years. he's hoping to hold on to it but polls show a very tight race. of course the stagnant economy the number one issue for voters here and across the country. i think you will hear president obama make the case that he is still the best candidate to get the economy back on track. i think you will hear this new line of attack that he has rolled out on this tour, alex, which is essentially to paint the republicans as the party of the past. he did so by referencing the national convention saying it was essentially like watching tv in black and white, so i think you'll hear more of that rhetoric. in the meantime one of his former top advisers, rahm emanuel, who is the mayor of chicago, helped the president make his case earlier today on "meet the press." take a listen. >> people want to know about the first term. very simple. general motors is alive and well and osama bin laden is not and
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that's what got done. because the president did deal and they know it is a fact. what he inherited and what is he is trying to face. >> reporter: mao from here president obama travels to ohio. on monday he is going to stop in louisiana and those impact bid hurricane isaac. then he makes a stop in virginia before heading to the democratic national convention and making his all-important speech on thursday. alex, a little bit of breaking news this morning. president obama did an interview with "usa today" in which he responded for the first time really to that speech that clint eastwood gave during the republican national convention. you remember it, alex. clint eastwood interviewed an empty chair meant to represent president obama. auz uz today asked if he was offended by that. here is what president obama had to say. quote, one thing about being president or running for president, if you're easily offe offended, you should probably choose another profession. when he was asked if the democrats would have a similar hollywood type skit he said, quote, i think we'll be playing
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this pretty straight. so there you have it, alex. >> well, he was using a bit of humor, the president, with regard to that. listen, you can't be thin skinned because people like you are on the campaign trail, kristen welker, following every move. thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> that's right. >> delegates and supporters are streaming into charlotte. that city is expecting 30,000 to 35,000 visitors 0 over the weeks. it kicks off tuesday with speeches from the first lady, i michelle obama, as well as from the keynote with san antonio mayor julio castro. it's all leading up to the president's address on thursday night. and joining me for more is former new mexico governor bill richardson who served as u.s. ambassador to the united nations as well as secretary of energy under bill clinton. it's good to have you here. thank you. >> thanks, alex. nice to be here. >> we have mitt romney's rnc speech which painted an economic picture of americans struggling to just get by. how does the president frame this economy on thursday night? >> well, he's got to outline
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what he wants to do the next four years. he wants to talk about the fact that when he came into office, we were losing about 800,000 jobs a month, and now we have 4.2 million private sector jobs created. the economy is getting better but we still have a long way to go. and he's going to contrast with the republican convention, which was rallying their base, negative, the lone gunfighter, we do it all alone, to a democratic convention of family, togetherness, unity, talking about the future, the different paths, an economy that is for the middle class, for the worker, the economic security of the middle class as opposed to the trickle down. and i think you're going to see an uplifting, positive convention, not the pettiness of the last one that just happened in tampa. >> all right. i want to you take a listen to a clip of newt gingrich and romney
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senior campaign adviser from this morning. here it is. >> i think the biggest event next week won't be his speech thursday, it'll be the friday morning jobs report. >> in fact, i think the biggest news next week, kabd candy, will not be the three nights of the democratic convention but will be on friday when we hear, again, about the monthly jobs report for the month of august. >> that seems like a synchron e synchronized effort. has mitt romney formed his response to the dnc? are you hearing anything about that? >> no. he has not outlined what he wants to do with the economy other than trickle-down economics, enormous tax cuts for those that are doing well already, huge cuts for the middle class, for students, for seniors, eviscerating medicare and medicaid. it's just a negative attack. actually the jobs report i think you are going to see, yeah, there's slow, steady, positive progress. i think the president has created jobs, mainly private
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sector jobs, but, again, this is a tough economy and what he inherited and where we are today, there's been dramatically marked improvement. >> but any concern, governor, that this jobs report out friday, the morning right after the president makes his nationwide address there becomes almost his clint eastwood moment, the sort of scene stealer. >> no, no. we've got 60 days to go. i believe that this president in the next 60 days is going to get out there, talk to the american people in a positive way. the american people like him. he has a high likability and respect factor. i think that will come through at this convention. i think the fact that the contrast between the two conventions will be the main story, not necessarily a jobs report which we're all trying to fix and the republicans, all they're trying to do is make sure the job situation doesn't get better and the congress they're trying to fight everything the president does,
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they're negative, glooms day in america, and that's not the way the american people want to campaign. they want it positive, uplifting, unity. we're not there alone, c cooperative effort, public/private partnerships. that's what the president will talk about. >> well, there's one thing to talk about capitol hill but, sir, do you think the president can convince the public that his policies will be different enough and new enough that it's not going to be the same thing for another four years? >> well, i believe the voters will send a message that they want the two parties to work together. they want bipartisanship. they want problems fixed instead of these huge battles. i think that's a message not just in the presidential race but the congressional and the governor's races. you are going to see an america saying, enough, fix the country's problems and they're going to see the president as the best entity to do that. i think that's why he's going to pull this race very narrowly ahead. he'll pull ahead but he'll be
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very close. i think in the end the president will be deservedly re-elected. >> just curious about your reaction on 0 your successor there, martinez, who spoke at the rmc. what do you think of her performance? >> you know, i have big differences. i'd rather not get negative. i want to go positive. i think my state when i was governor i had tax cuts, i built the movie industry. we lowered taxes by a billion bucks. we built the space industry. renewable energy. the combination of public/private partnerships is the way to go. again, i think that's what the president wants to do, a positive pro-growth democrat, a positive, pro-growth president. >> the last political unit analysis here, your state is leaning democrat in the election. do you have any insight into where new mexico may vote?
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>> well, you know, we're a barometer battleground state but i do believe the president is ahead. he won the state handily four years ago. we have a very good senate candidate, martin heinrich who will probably become the next senator there. it's a state, it's a ba rromete battleground state. you can't take anything for granted like colorado, nevada, florida, new mexico. those states with the high hispanic populations will be the states that determine who is president. i think the president with his strong, strong base of support in the hispanic community, what he's done with creating jobs with the hispanic community on immigration, on the dream act, that he will do well in those states that have those high percentage of latino voters. so i feel good about new mexico but it will be very close. >> all right, governor bill richardson, get your running shoes on, sir. you have a busy week ahead in charlotte. thank you so much.
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we invite all of you to watch msnbc this week for the live coverage of the democratic national convention which kicks off tomorrow with a special two hour edition of "the daily rundown" with chuck ed todd tha will air at 8:00 eastern time. and a quick reminder to watch the premier showing of the documentary "barack obama making history" hosted by chris matthews that will air tomorrow night at 10:00 eastern here on msnbc. developing now in louisiana a failing canal is putting residents and officials on high alert there after thousands of people in st. tammany parish are evacuating from their homes. the river is not scheduled it to crest until some time tomorrow. gabe gutierrez is live in new orleans for us. so lots of concern there. what's the latest, babe? >> reporter: well, alex, in st. tammany parish the evacuation has switched from mandatory to voluntary with regards to that lock that people had feared would fail yesterday. now there's a new concern. that new concern is that the
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pearl river would crest tomorrow at 19 1/2 feet and that could potentially put some other homes at risk. but officials are meeting with hydrologists this afternoon and will make a decision whether to hand out more evacuations. the cleanup from isaac continues here in new orleans. power is back to the downtown area. not everyone is so fortunate. in the state of louisiana about 260,000 people are still without power and many people are frustrated. meanwhile, the army corps of engineers now says that it will check to see whether the upgraded levee system in new orleans may have contributed to more flooding in other parts of the area. o officials in several communities like la feet, laplace and plaquemines parish have said as much. senator vitter has suggested the corps study the issue and the corps has agreed. they will look into it but, however, the army corps does not
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suspect that there will be much change -- that they will find there was that much changed but they will look into it and, again, now in new orleans, downtown is back in business. a lot of people here in the state, though, still without power. alex? >> gabe gutierrez, thank you very much, for the heads-up. lots to keep vigilant about there. britain's party boy prince may not be talking about what happened at a sin city hotel but one of the party girls is. oh, joy. that's ahead. plus, the court decisions that might change the outcome of the election. the calcium they take the calcium they take because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption.
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two major court decisions
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can radically shake up the race for president. a federal appeals court has struck down a photo i.d. law that required voters to show i.d. at the polls a. u.s. judge in ohio rejected a republican backed will ylaw that cut three of early voting. joining me now from the site of the dnc in charlotte, dave weigel and editor of the cq roll call daily briefing dave hawkins. we have dave and david. are we clear on this? here we go. good to see you both. dave, i'll begin with you. the voting decision in ohio. how much could this decision, if it stands, affect the voting? >> well, democrats think this is worth up to maybe 80,000 votes. they mention during the arguments in this process that about 80,000 people end ed up voting in those final three days before the elected.
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that's what this decision did. the new law restricted early voting for everyone who wasn't a military service member, somebody living abroad in the three days right before election day. that was when democratics got into gear in 2008 and that's really a lot of their strategy especially in ohio where they expect to be outspent to rev up the grassroots, the highest octane it's ever been. so this is very much a win for them. >> okay. so, david, with these decisions, you have texas, which is a solid red state and ohio is a crucial swing state but beyond ohio, are there any other states you see out there where these types of voting laws could hurt the turnout for the democrats? any state this could be a tipping point between the president being re-elected and mitt romney winning? i want to hear it from you. >> i'm hoping we're going to agree that it's just to the east of ohio and pennsylvania which is a huge state, one of the biggest of the swing states. there is a law under challenge
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right now that's gotten through the trial court level but the state supreme court is yet to be decided. that will be the big decision. i have seen estimates that as many as one whole congressional district worth of voters, more than 500,000 voters, could not have access to the polls if this law is upheld. that's an enormous amount of people, way more than are necessary to tip the balance of power this that state. >> absolutely. dave, let's take a listen to how president obama described the republican convention while campaigning in iowa this weekend. here it is. >> despite all the challenges that we face in this new century, when they offered over those three days was more often than not an agenda that was better suited for the last century. it was a rerun. we'd seen it before. you might as well have watched it on a black and white tv.
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>> so how do you read this, dave? >> that's a good line but it doesn't actually describe the convention a lot of people were covering. republicans made a big break from recent history, made a big break from president bush. only jeb bush talked about the fact they used to run every step of the government hear and i think he's describing what he's going to run against. which is fair. the democrats are going to try this week to describe some of their accomplishments but otherwise shift the focus and republicans are going to ignore that. no, but he was describing the whole democratic strategy for the fall is to attack mitt romney's tax policies, economic policies, and since they weren't discussing the convention, that wasn't what he focused on. >> david, "the wall street journal" reports the president told his campaign aides, you have to ratchet up my campaign schedule here and now you see the president on this four state battleground tour and look at the states he's visiting, iowa,
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virginia and colorado. how concerned do you think they are about losing these four states in november? >> oh, they're absolutely concerned. those four by my back of the envelope calculations are probably the four of that group of eight swing states that really were the balance of this election is going to be decided. those are absolutely the four where my own view is mitt romney has the best chance. they make up 48 electoral votes. i think i did the math right in my head. if he wins those four, he's won the election. each one of those he doesn't win especially ohio and virginia which are two of the real biggies and the lynch pins of his strategy, he has a harder map and romney has a much easier map. >> dave, as the president addresses the economy in his speech on thursday, how does he frame it? >> i think he describes the lowest point of the economy as he came into office and it's pretty well known, losing 500,000 jobs a month, every projection being unable to hold up to the reality of the next
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and worst economic news. he will try to paint a picture of us being dragged out of a hole and halfway up. i'm just imagining the way batman escapes in the last movie where he makes many attempts. i think it's going to be we are almost there yet -- republicans create this had crisis with politics. democrats actually benefit if you tell the story of the recession, tell the story of the stimulus in great detail because what they feel, and they're a little bit right about this, the cartoon version of this where barack obama is responsible for all the job loss, is actually not that accurate. his record is not what democrats dreamed of but is better than portrayed. >> david, the same question to you. what is the president going to say? >> i was fascinated in tampa last week when mitt romney actually used the famous ronald reagan line, are you better off now than you were four years
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ago? and he says, no. i think the president is going to ask the same question and say, yes, but it's not far enough. it's a very simple message. yes, you know, i bailed you out of an awful situation. the line that you had on air a few minutes ago from rahm emanuel i've heard vice president biden say it. gm is alive, bin laden is dead. that should get me to being re-elected. he will say, yes, you are better off now than were you four years ago. you're not as well off as you need to be and my prescriptions are the better ones to get there. it's a relatively simple message, the one he's been articulating you will year. it's the one he articulates for those who live in washington and listen to him speak every day. it's a simple message. my plan is better than the so-called tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. >> guys, thanks so much. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> well, this week mitt romney will be prepping for the
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preside presidential debates but who will be his sparring partner portraying president obama? it could be portman, tim pawlenty or paul ryan. that's ahead for you. i don't spend money on gasoline. i don't have to use gas. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. drive around town all the time doing errands and never ever have to fill up gas in the city. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. the last time i went to the gas station must have been about three months ago. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. ♪
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so that wherever your duty takes you, usaa bank goes with you. visit us online to learn what makes our bank so different. one of of america's most prolific and popular songwriters has died. hal david wrote dozens of hits including this oscar winning classic from the film "bush butch cassidy and the sup dance kid." ♪ rain drops keep falling on my head ♪ ♪ but that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning red ♪ ♪ crying is not for me >> other tunes co-writen by david include "the look of love" and" close to you" sung by the carpenters. "always something there to remind me" back in the 1980s. the 1961 country classic "sea of heartbreak."
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that was a duet for roseanne cash and bruce springsteen. david died saturday of a stroke. he was 91. still ahead. new revelations about the raid that killed bosama bin laden an they're coming from that navy s.e.a.l.'s book that the pentagon doesn't want to you read. setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. gives you a 50% annual bonus. and everyone, but her... likes 50% more cash. but, i have an idea. do you want a princess dress? yes how about some cupcakes? yes lollipop? yes! do you want an etch a sketch? yes! do you want 50% more cash? no you got talent. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card. with a 50% annual cash bonus it's the card for people who like more cash. what's in your wallet? i usually say that.
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with garden veggies and egg. each one perfectly designed... to start her day with a little love. new fancy feast mornings gourmet cat food. the best ingredient is love. times square on a sunday afternoon in new york city. welcome back, everyone, to "weekends with alex witt." despite threats of legal action from the pentagon, new details are out this morning about the daring raid that killed osama bin laden and how it almost went horribly wrong. it's all part after controversial new book "no easy day" written by a former navy s.e.a.l. who took part in the mission. mike viqueira is joining us live with more on all of this this afternoon. i know i said morning earlier. what are we learning throughout the day, mike? >> reporter: well, alex, the prologue, you're right, the prologue to 0 the book "no easy day" is printed in the british
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newspaper and writing under the pen name mark owen, the former navy s.e.a.l. describes a harrowing ordeal, high drama, a brush with disaster as his team of navy s.e.a.l.s was about to storm osama bin laden's compound. the newly released excerpts come days after the pentagon threatened to file criminal charges against the former s.e.a.l. who wrote "no easy day" but an attorney says the book doesn't reveal any secrets that would put current navy s.e.a.l.s at risk. owen describes in great detail the conditions leading up to perhaps the most famous commando raid in u.s. history. one minute out, he writes, the blackhawk crew chief slid the door open. i could just make him out holding up one finger and glanced around as my s.e.a.l. teammates this team had been hand picked from the most experienced men in our squadron. he says there was no way to know for sure if osama bin laden was inside. we were now less than a minute from the compound, he continues. intelligence said our target was there but it didn't matter.
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whoever was in there was about to have a bad night. but as we now know it was almost a bad night for the s.e.a.l.s. one of the choppers, the one carrying owen, crashed upon landing inside the compound. as the helicopter attempted to climb, it took a violent right turn spinning 90 degrees. i could feel the tail kick to the left. it caught me by surprise and i struggled to find a handhold inside the cabin to keep from sliding out the door. i could see the court yard coming up at us. overhead the engines seemed to scream. the tail rotor barely missed hitting the house as we slid to the left. the mission was about to go off track before we had a chance to get our feet on the ground. alex, as we know, that chopper made a soft crash landing, no one was hurt and the s.e.a.l.s were able to execute their daring mission. you know the book is already number one on amazon. it's not available to the public until tuesday but until then and certainly after then the author and the book will be the subject
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of a lot of talk and a lot of controversy, alex. >> absolutely. mike, have they contacted you about doing the books on tapes nar racial? that was pretty good. >> that was a lot of reading. >> i could listen to him driving my car. it all works. mike viqueira, thank you. well, the democrats are starting to descend upon charlotte. ohio senator ron portman will offer his assistance before the portraying president obama in the debate rehearsals. and while mitt romney is doing debate prep, running mate paul ryan is scheduled to speak in north carolina and in iowa later on in the week. new insight today into both president obama and mitt romney and especially the minds of the voting public. it's all in the essential voters guide. it's just out from "time" magazine. joining me is michael duffy executive editor and washington bureau chief. mike, glad to have you here. it is a great compilation of things.
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i love it. it's almost like my biblg. the 21 day trek through the swing states, what was the biggest takeaway there? >> both sides, americans from all different walks of life sense, alex, a breakdown in the basic social compact that is america. people on the left think there's a darwinist -- every man for himself attitude that's taken over and people on the right think the sense of entitlement is too high. it mirrors the whole takers conversation that took place last week in tampa and joe, who has done a bunch of these for us and this was by far the most interesting, detected people no matter what their philosophies see a breakdown in rights and responsibilities that makes up the country. what about this is the last campaign. the re-election effort aimed as
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much as turnout and cell phones as at hearts and minds? >> in charlotte this week, one more call to arls for democrats and the coalition that elected obama in 2008 but in the story there's a fair amount of what went on behind the scenes, under the radar in ways that didn't happen in 2008. the obama campaign is using data mining and other technical tools to make sure if the rhetoric isn't sufficient that the votes will still turn out. it's really down into the workings of getting people to the polls. >> we hear about mitt romney's father, former governor of michigan, but this has a piece called dreams from his mother. what did we learn about that relationship?
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>> mitt romney had a great career as a businessman but he did come from one of the storied political families in michigan. not only 0 was his father a governor and a cabinet officer for richard nicxon, his mother ran in 1970. it was a formative campaign for romney, the younger. he was there every day, drove a truck around the state, went to all 80-some counties. this piece looks at what his mother's unsuccessful race for senate that year taught him about politics and about family. >> you look at the wives, both of them with michelle obama and ann romney. what's the most significant takeaway about each woman? >> they haven't really been more visible is surprising. last week was the first time we saw ann romney since almost the new hampshire primary. she can be a great asset to her husband, but she has not always been as visible as perhaps some
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in the campaign would like. at the same time the first lady, michelle obama, the role she is playing in that campaign is quite interesting. they're using her in a very different way, putting her on television programs and in outlets and places we don't always see first ladies and it's a larger strategy to make sure that, again, the messages of 2008 are brought back to a different audience. >> can i ask quickly about the last guide that breaks down by blocks and states and asks who will win. do you want to take a crack at that question? >> you know i wouldn't do that. >> i know. >> there are many more states up this year than are typical and that's what makes this an interesting race. >> i just thought maybe, you know, i'd throw it out there, michael duffy. thank you. appreciate it. >> you bet. call it the case of beer pressure. huge public demand thanks to a twitter campaign forced the white house to reveal one of its biggest secrets, the recipe for
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its famous ale. here is a clip of a recent video posted showing how the special brand of suds is brewed and bottled by the white house. one is an ale, the other a porter, and both use honey as an ingredient. that sounds pretty sweet. new details about prince harry's nude rendezvous. the woman who says she was there when the photos were taken is coming out with more. live from london with more on this. so what is this woman saying? >> reporter: hi, alex. good afternoon. she says she was one of the girls invited up to harry's vip suite along with friends and lots of other girls. she describes a fun, silly evening, everyone very drunk, especially the prince. the girl explained the infamous photos of naked harry saying everyone was stripping off to some extent and they were playing games and she says he was encouraging the girls to join him in his nakedness. then they had what we shall call
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20 minutes of alone time and, alex, i'm not going into any more details than that. >> okay 0. how about this, his first appearance apparently will be out publicly tomorrow. what's he going to be doing? >> reporter: he will be at a charity event for sick children. so from an image point of view it will be in stark contrast to those photos. it is, though, a charity that has been supporting for the last five years. then later in the week he'll make appearances at the paralympic games in london serving as another reminder of his charity work because he's been supportive of injured service personnel, a cause close to his heart because he is serving in the british army. he's actually now a trained apache helicopter co-pilot and will soon be returning to afghanistan. but it's probably the reason nobody here is really too upset about his antics in vegas. they know it was a wild vacation before a very serious tour of duty, alex.
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>> all right. playing it straight for us and keeping from us the things we don't need to hear. thank you. ratings for the rnc are in. what do they mean? the big three weighs in.
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might mitt romney's message not have been heard as much as he needed it to be? do you think his people are concerned? >> i'm not sure they're overly concerned. take a look at the recent polls whether it's registered polls or those likely to vote this november. it is still neck and neck. it appears that mitt romney's message is still getting out there if you will but, of course, look, everybody who wants more eyeballs to see them on television, president company included, of course, the bottom line is when you take a look at, al alex, four years ago there was a person on the national stage called sarah palin, a lot of people were interested by her, fascinated by her, very, very diverse, interesting backgrounds. that is what peaked a lot of people's interest. >> the gallup poll has the president up by one point which does not suggest much of a bump. >> well, that's true. and you typically don't get a big convention bounce coming out that have historically. when you do, it very quickly goes back down so this is going to be a neck and neck photo finish to the end all the way probably up until halloween.
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once halloween comes around that's where we'll see someone break away. >> okay. doug, we have "the wall street journal" reporting president obama has recently told his aides to increase his campaign schedule. now you've handled candidates before yourself. does this suggest concern from the candidate himself and, also, does it suggest that his candidate and his aides, rather, on the campaign trail are not doing their job if he's having to say, you know, can you get me out here more? >> candidates are always concerned, i'll tell you that much. i think the president is right to want to get out there more. we know this is neck and neck and i think the big challenge for the democrats is an enthusiasm gap. what the polls are showing us is the republican base is much more energized and some people voted for president obama in '08 say they're not likely to turn out and vote this time and that is the big challenge. he needs to get out there, remind them that, yeah, it's tough. change is hard. it takes time. it's especially hard when you
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have republicans in congress trying to stop your every move. but they're frustrated with the pace of change now, mitt romney would take us backwards and he's the best person to get out there and make that case. i'm not surprised he's champing at the bit to do it and it would do him and the campaign well to get more time to deliver that message. >> so, anne, i'm looking at an article by one of your colleagues titled democrats hope charlotte convention can help deliver nk mcfor president obama. will it? >> well, look, it will be tough. it's going to be tougher than colorado was four years ago. north carolina is an uphill fight. i think one of the things they're looking at is the growth in the minority vote. it's still a very small number but it has actually doubled in the state. so if they can register minority voters at a higher pace, they will have a better chance. a lot of people have written off north carolina, but i think that's probably too soon to do at this point especially with
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the convention, even if, as had he were discussing, there is not much for either side i think it's probably too soon to write north carolina off especially given the organizing they're able to do around the convention much as they did four years ago. >> okay. we're going to move on to topic two with the big three here taking the stage. president obama will be speaking at the dnc this week but, first, let's take a listen to mitt romney hammering home his economic message this weekend. >> with a middle income family income -- or median income down $4,000 a family, when you think about that, at the same time health insurance premiums are up, food prices are up and gasoline prices are up and electric utility bills are up, these are tough times for american families. >> you know, doug, he is checking off a list of specifics that a lot of people can relate to, so how do you tell the president to frame the economy at the dnc this week so it can be a winning issue for him?
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>> i think he's been doing it very effectively. it basically comes down to do you want to move forward with an economic that's built to last because it's built from the middle out, because it empowers the middle class families who really are the driving force of this economy and invest in innovation and cool new industries and economic infrastructure and all those things that make the economy go particularly from the middle class want to go backwards to more george w. bush top down economics that are really about making people like mitt romney rich. and not empowering the middle class. he has framed it up that way and very effective and will do a great job delivering that message at the campaign. >> robert -- right. robert, how concerned are you that the president is going to hammer away on porn policy issues and specifics including afghanistan, iraq, troops, and after mitt romney didn't mention any of those during his rmc speech? i know he mentioned some countries and mentioned putin. that said in terms of topically speaking, what are your concerns on that? >> you know, what's interesting is, it is an interesting juxtaposition a democratic
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president will talk about the wars. he will take credit foernding the wars in iraq and afghanistan. that's a bit disingenuous. george w. bush said that he was going to draw down troops in iraq and also in afghanistan to a certain degree. so, you know, again, a lot of concern open to president obama's porn policy critique, if you will, and main reason why is because when you take a look at it, it really is bush in so many different ways when it comes to afghanistan and iraq, as i mentioned, guantanamo bay. you go on down the list. president obama pretty much has followed president bush's road map, if you will, from a foreign policy standpoint except for israel. >> do you get a sense, ann, about the president's advisers at all trying to lower expectations for his speech this week? >> yeah. look, only said about a week ago, little less than a week ago, he was still writing the speech and -- four years ago they talk ad lot about how he had done draft after draft as the weeks led up to it. i think that -- they are going to try and make subtlety be key
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this time and let the speech speak for itself. which it certainly will. and it is a three-day convention, not a four-day convention. and i think that their focus is going to be -- letting the convention need what it -- do what it needs to do. i should add, between haven't talked about it, the debates, i think are going to be fundamental. start in october. and a lot of democrats i know are saying, yeah, conventions are one thing. this is a time when the debates are going to be even more meaningful. >> you make a good point there. coming up next, big three with their must reads. ] research suggests cell health plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has more of 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+.
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we are back with the big three. this weekend's must reads. doug hattaway, we will start with you. time important the must reads. what is yours? >> mine is an article in "the rolling stone" about the true story, it says, of mitt romney and bain capital. it is kind of an unnerves read actually about how romney made his fortune and the whole mindset p behind it. basically tells a story of how they would go in and take over
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companies. essentially tear them apart. ship the american jobs overseas and saddle us with debt. i think that's the sort of story that will tell sort of sliver of undecided voters out will. all they need to know about the pro-romney approach to the economy and what his business experience is all about. it is quite the read. >> aren't you a cooly for going to "rolling stone." how about you, ann? your must read? >> my colleague, dan, has a terrific piece on the front page of today's "washington post." nice long read asking the question how did president obama go from promising hope, change and partisanship to where we are today. a ton of exclusive interviews and historical reporting. i highly recommend it to everyone. >> i'm writing it down to read. robert? >> the new york time has a fascinating piece on the power behind the throne. we have had powers behind the
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throne before meaning harry hopkins with fdr, karl rove, valerie jarrett and president obama and how she is the mother figure, by sister, and alter ego. very good read. >> had a sounds good, too. writing those down. good to see you all. that's a quantity of "weekends with alex witt." up next, "meet the press." have a good one, everyone. copd makes it hard to breathe, but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair
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Weekends With Alex Witt
MSNBC September 2, 2012 9:00am-11:00am PDT

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